America Rising PAC has launched an investigation into Governor Cuomo’s ‘Buffalo Billions’ scandal in which contracts were allegedly rewarded to political donors.
The PAC has filed numerous Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) requests seeking information on Cuomo’s role in doling out the contracts.
Cuomo is being researched due to his increased national profile and the presumption that he will run for re-election in 2018.
Via Politico New York:
America Rising, which was founded in 2013 by veterans of Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign to track and dig up dirt on Democrats, began requesting records about Cuomo’s communications with Buffalo developers late last year, after reports of a federal investigation into contracts awarded under the “Buffalo Billion” program.
The reclassification comes as Cuomo has become a surrogate for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and has been more active at building a national brand on criminal justice issues. On Friday, he’ll appear with Vice President Joe Biden to discuss paid family leave and the employee-funded system he proposed for it earlier this month.
The group is seeking information about Cuomo’s contact with Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz and his aides, as well as the Democratic governor’s communications with Michael Joseph, a Buffalo developer. Amelia Chassé, a spokeswoman for the PAC, said it believes there were “potential ethical lapses” in Buffalo, with political donors receiving favorable treatment. Cuomo has said he did nothing improper, and defended the program’s economic effects.
Chassé’s full statement reads:
“Ahead of his expected 2018 re-election, America Rising is resuming its efforts to hold Governor Cuomo accountable. There are numerous questions surrounding potential ethical lapses of his administration in the Buffalo area, and the public deserves to know if Governor Cuomo’s political donors are getting preferential treatment not given to the rest of his constituents.”
U.S. attorney Preet Bharara recently announced that he had “insufficient evidence” to move forward in the case of Cuomo prematurely disbanding an ethics commission, but is continuing to look into the Buffalo Billions revitalization project.